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September 2016

Professors on Wheels expands to libraries, veteran centers

Ray DiSanza


Joseph Abdenour graduated from an FA-sponsored Professors on Wheels program at Island Nursing and Rehab Center. Professors on Wheels has recently expanded to include presentations at libraries and veteran centers. (photo by Cynthia Eaton)

Professors on Wheels is the Faculty Association’s community service outreach program that has, since its inception, sent volunteers to senior centers and assisted living facilities around Suffolk County.

Last year we expanded the program to a select few local libraries, and I’m happy to report that we’ve been able to add a number of new libraries again this year, including Sachem, Brentwood and Middle Country.

Additionally we are excited to announce that we will be working with the Long Island State Veterans Home (LISVH) at Stony Brook University. We recently had a very productive meeting with Shannon O’Neill, college director of veterans affairs, to discuss some ideas about how to best serve Suffolk’s veterans. We look forward to working with Shannon and the Student Veterans Association (SVA) to bring Professors on Wheels to Suffolk County veterans.   

Professors on Wheels is a great way to combine college service and community service with your personal and professional interests. You determine your availability and you determine your level of involvement.

The most important thing you can do to get involved is propose a course. Classes can spring from your area of academic expertise or from any area in which you consider yourself an expert, though many choose to tie their presentations to their current research and projects. Right now we are offering classes on subjects as varied as the history of the English language and reporting via YouTube. The Professors on Wheels pamphlet has a listing of all the presentations we offer if you’d like a few examples.

When you’re ready to propose a course, you can access the course proposal form on the FA website as well. Once your course has been added to the pamphlet, centers will contact you directly to schedule presentations, and you can schedule as many as you can fit into your schedule, even if that’s only one or two a year.

As always we’re looking for any topics that may be of general interest, but we’re especially eager to add presentations that will engage the resident and day populations at the LISVH and at the other VA centers that we are looking to partner with.

If you haven’t volunteered in the past with Professors on Wheels, for whatever reason, this is a great time to get involved, especially if you’re interested in giving back to the veterans who have given so much for us. We’re also open to collaborating on special projects with classes or clubs at the libraries, veteran centers or senior centers.

Thank you for giving us a few minutes at such a busy time of the year; we’re looking forward to reading through some new course proposals in the days to come and to keep Professors on Wheels expanding in good ways.